New bridge and a tonal adjustment
I’m thinking about having my viola tonally adjusted, new season and being a newer instrument I feel it could help a bit with it’s general sound etc. However, I was also thinking about a new bridge. The viola came with what I can only assume is a bog standard bridge, there is certainly nothing special about it, and I understand that higher quality bridges help to produce a better sound?
Is this the case? What is your experience with bridges, perhaps you prefer a particular brand such as Despiau or Teller?
Before attempting any tonal adjustment, especially this time of year when temperature and humidity change significantly, you should ensure that your instrument is being kept in a stable controlled environment first and foremost. This is especially true if you also contemplate a new or adjustment to the sound post, which may be recommended as part of a full tonal adjustment. Puting a new/adjusting sound post when the instrument is dry, can result in overtension when humidity goes up again, and lead to a crack in your top plate. Your instrument should always be kept at 50-55RH humidity plus or minus a few degrees, if this is not the case then adjusting/changing bridge, end tail and/or sound post may be a futile exercise.
Who cuts the bridge is infinitely more important for tone than the brand, IMO. A cheapo bridge might be more likely to warp, though.
Hi Roger - I’ll make a point of checking the humidity levels. If the viola isn’t being played, it lives in its case, seemingly the safest place for it! The case doesn’t have a hydrometer though.
It's that time of year--to be aware of humidity changes. Here is everything you need to know:
Hi Erin - thanks for sharing that, a good and very helpful read!